A reader linked me to a truly grotesque article on El Huffington Post, the HP Spanish newspaper. It's an anti-Semitic screed by Pablo Prieto, a biologist. Here is a link to the English translation, and here is a link to the original Spanish version. I'm going to base my reporting on the English translation with the Spanish alongside, please leave a comment if Google Translate is wrong. I don't think it is.
Here's the headlines of the articles, to get the ball rolling:
Warning bells right from the onset. "The Jews" or "Los judios" are up to something! Immediately we see where Mr. Prieto is coming from.
So what exactly happened?
Le sucedió a un investigador vasco, en septiembre de 2001, en Nueva York. No pasaba algo así desde la II Guerra Mundial. Fue uno de los casos más nauseabundos de censura científica que se recuerdan, pero pasó casi desapercibido, eclipsado por otro acontecimiento de mayor envergadura. Y fue el lobby judío.)OK you can feel the tension building. The Jewish lobby committed a "sickening case of scientific censorship." Let's keep reading.
Mr. Preito then summarizes a lot of genetic research by one researcher, Dr. Arnaiz-Villena and draws this conclusion:
"Analyzing the cold and stubborn PCR data (Chain Reaction Polymerase, its acronym in English), which is like a hyperspace microwave cooking genes, the unmistakable conclusion is that, genetically speaking, Jews and Palestinians are the same thing."Um, OK, numerous other studies have found out the same thing. This is hardly news, especially when both Jews and Arabs originated practically next door to each other in the scale of evolution.
Keep reading after the break, because this is where the Jewish lobby flexes its muscle:
Mr. Preito reports on what happened to this scientific study when its author tried to get it published:
Hooray! But what happened next?
"Mr. Preito already gave away the ship in his headline, we know who he blames for the halted publishing of this study. But what's the first rule about reading Huffington Post bloggers? Check their sources!
Mr. Preito claims that the publishers of the scientific magazine "obeyed a mysterious order" (noprize for figuring out who the order is from) and claims The Guardian 'blew the whistle'. But what does the Guardian's article that Mr. Preito himself linked say? Keep in mind, this is the Guardian. Hardly a friend to Israel.
"A keynote research paper showing that Middle Eastern Jews and Palestinians are genetically almost identical has been pulled from a leading journal.Academics who have already received copies of Human Immunology have been urged to rip out the offending pages and throw them away.OK, so far perfectly in line with Mr. Preito's theories. What does the journal have to say for itself?
Such a drastic act of self-censorship is unprecedented in research publishing and has created widespread disquiet, generating fears that it may involve the suppression of scientific work that questions Biblical dogma."
"The journal's editor, Nicole Sucio-Foca, of Columbia University, New York, claims the article provoked such a welter of complaints over its extreme political writing that she was forced to repudiate it....But the journal, having accepted the paper earlier this year, now claims the article was politically biased and was written using 'inappropriate' remarks about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Its editor told the journal Nature last week that she was threatened by mass resignations from members if she did not retract the article."As a scientist himself, Mr. Preito should be the first to admit political bias has no place in scientific journals. Science is meant to prove facts, not cause political change. So what political biases are we talking about here? (emphasis mine)
Arnaiz-Villena [article's author] says he has not seen a single one of the accusations made against him, despite being promised the opportunity to look at the letters sent to the journal.He accepts he used terms in the article that laid him open to criticism. There is one reference to Jewish 'colonists' living in the Gaza strip, and another that refers to Palestinian people living in 'concentration' camps.
If you read the study that Mr. Preito helpfully linked to, there's other examples of bias:
"This sample may be considered as representative of the Palestinian population because many people have been forced to live in the Gaza strip, coming from other parts of Palestine, and the Gaza strip is now a relatively or totally (when the ongoing conflict aggravates) secluded area."
"The United Nations plan for Palestine partition in 1947 is illustrated in Figure 2 . Israel's self-proclaimed independent in 1948 and started a war against Muslim Palestinians and other Muslim neighbouring countries. After several regional wars, Israel has taken more space and sized Jerusalem, as illustrated in Figure 3."
"Both Jews and Palestinians share a very similar HLA genetic pool (Table 3, Figures 4, 5 and 6) that support a common ancient Canaanite origin. Therefore, the origin of the long-lasting Jewish-Palestinian hostility is the fight for land in ancient times. Religious and cultural have enhanced the conflict in the last centuries, together with the massive European, American, Asian and African Jews settlements in the area, which has also caused a massive displacement of Palestinians and wars. A difficult problem has now been created between two communities that are close genetic relatives."It's obvious to anyone with even a rudimentary understanding of the scientific method that statements such as those above have no place in a scientific journal. They have nothing to do with the genetic study conducted by the researchers and, such as in the example of "therefore, the origin of the long-lasting Jewish-Palestinian hostility is the fight for land in ancient times," draw conclusions that cannot be drawn from the study itself.
It's obvious that the journal was absolutely right to pull the article. Obvious to everyone, that is, except for Mr. Preito. What does he have to say about the "censorship" he reported on?
Una década después, y tras una ardua lucha, el artículo fue recuperado, pero el daño ya estaba hecho. Esta no es la primera vez, ni la última, que un lobby censura o manipula un resultado científico para su propio beneficio, creando un perjuicio a la sociedad mucho mayor de lo que puede parecer.)"How dare that journal pull the study! Don't they respect the researcher's manipulation of his results to make a political point for the Palestinians?
But don't worry. Mr. Preito is aware that what he's saying is considered by most people to be hate speech:
Es probable que alguien me acuse de antisemitismo por escribir esto. Contra lo que voy es contra el sagrado y cochino Poder, en cualquiera de sus formas, porque es el mayor enemigo de la libertad. En España la cosa es análoga, pero aquí mi anécdota se queda corta. La Iglesia católica interfiere y manipula no ya en la ciencia, sino prácticamente en todas las esferas de la vida pública. Tanto y durante tanto que casi nos hemos acostumbrado. Esta anómala injerencia es tan llamativa como la pasividad que las supuestas sociedades laicas (o aconfesionales, me da igual) muestran al repecto. A algunos creyentes tal vez fuera mejor tratarles... Tratarles, sin más. Al fin y al cabo, eso de creerse parte del roza con algún cuadro clínico bien conocido.)"Well, there you have it, folks. A researcher tries to spin his results to make a political statement, and when his own journal shuts him down, Mr. Preito here decides that's proof enough to declare open season on the Jews. And the Huffington Post will happily publish him.
This is what passes for journalism on the Huffington Post.